[LAU] LAM: A new work in progress..

Julien Claassen julien at mail.upb.de
Thu Jan 10 23:39:26 UTC 2013

Hello James!
   Thanks for sharing this piece of music. OK, the singing isn't great, but who 
am I to complain? :-)
   Having the drums all in seperate tracks can help you a lot. Even with this 
rather open and transparent arrangement. May I ramble. This is of course a lot 
to taste and there are - I'm sure - some quite different basic religious ideas 
on how to approach this. Mine is more progressive rock or even pop.
   I will mention some values here, just experiment with the important 
parameters and find your own. My values are just typical things, that I 
experienced as useful.
   Filtering: especially in busy mixes it's nice to filter things as much as 
possible - and/or - equalise. The hihat are really getting important and 
audible - through all the rest - around 500 probably even 700 Hertz. So apply 
a highpass filte4r around that region. A bassdrum doesn't mostly need 
frequencies up to 22kHz. Depending on your sound something between 1-6kHz 
might do.
   those are the really harsh steps, cutting out, what really isn't needed. 
Then with an EQ lower frequencies, that have to much. I use Fons' 4-band 
parametric filter (LADSPA unique ID 1970). Take any you like. Activate one 
band, make it very narrow (offered with most EQs I think) and choose something 
like 12Db for volume/gain. Then sweep the frequency. I don't know, wire it to 
the pitchbend wheel of a MIDI keyboard, use the mouse... whatever suits you. 
If you find an area, which sounds overloud/disagreeable, lower the volume/gain 
control below 0Db. On typical area of annoyance: around 400-440Hz, especially 
for chord/rhythm nstruments. A lot happens there and if you have a lot of 
instruments, a lot adds up to much too much. Note: If auditioned alone tracks 
can sound slightly flat or at least flatter than the original, test them in 
the full mix.
   Compression: Your bassdrum could use some. It sounds rather live, which 
doesn't fit your song. Use something like the Invada compressor (LADSPA unique 
3308 or stereo 3309) or any other compressor you like. Experiment. To cut down 
the release of the bassdrum, choose longer release time in the compressor. If 
you want to hear, what the compressor actually really does and what changes, 
you can start experiments with a very low threshold (-20 to -30Db) and high 
compression (>10, in a nice GUI the rate could be displayed as 1:something, so 
   Then your drumkit might be well disposed with some reverb. Especially on the 
cymbals and perhaps a little on the hihats. You could add some overall subtle 
studio room to the kit and then add some more reverb on hihats/cymbals in 
particular to blend them in more smoothly. For that purpose choose a larger 
   I could talk a lot about snare drums, but you wouldn't want me to. There's 
such a lot, that can be done with it. Again EQ (can be more than convenience, 
also shaping the sound), the same goes for compression and reverb. Everything 
from super dry 70s to gated 80s or organic 90s prog can be achieved. :-)
   In my ears, at least the hihats could be taken down a notch or even two. :-)
   Of course, your vocals should go more upfront normally, at least a little. I 
could understand, if you rather don't this time.
   the rhythm guitar might use some EQ'ing as well. It sounds rather bright, 
gets in the way a little. Perhaps just a different amp/speaker/effect 
combination on your v-amp. I have noticed before, that sounds, which sound 
good solo, don't necessarily blend in well in a mix. I once had the time of my 
life rescuing a nicely played recording with completely the wrong sound. I was 
there, when it got recorded and chosen. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to 
go back and change it. It would have been better. Since the result, still 
isn't, what I'd like.
   The song underneath all my criticism and I'd rather this and why not that, 
is nice. Compact, flowing, pleasant. Not completely my stle, but 
approximating. :-) For a first with your new tool, this is OK.
   I am looking forward to your next song from this setup.
   Best wishes


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